I promised in my last post I would squish the rest of the vacation into one massive missive so we could move on to other things. I really wanted to visit Tulsa and see the Art Deco architecture, but it was not to be this visit. Time went by in a blur, so I’ll have to save it for next visit. Mostly we went antiquing (and I found a delicious Brexton picnic hamper that I fell in love with), visiting an animal park, and taking in the nature and sights of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Before you know it, it was time to leave and see some gorgeous classic national parks and western vistas.
We got a late start and didn’t arrive in Gallup, New Mexico until midnight (yawn!), so we didn’t get to see much neon. We had breakfast at the El Rancho, which is where all of the old Hollywood celebrities stayed when they were making movies in the area. I liked seeing all of the signed photos upstairs.
Of course, my Route 66 odyssey wouldn’t be complete without another fiberglass man to add to my collection (I just saw another today in Malibu, but I digress.)
We did a flyby visit to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, which is one of the oldest continually inhabited places in North America. I wish I could say I was dazzled by the settlements, but they were so far away. The only way you could see them even remotely close was to go down into the canyon and take a guided jeep tour. While the photo looks close, it was with a big telephoto lens. You can see things much closer at Mesa Verde and Montezuma’s Castle. You would have to look and look and then you could determine that speck off across the way were the ruins. While the scenery was very beautiful, it wasn’t what I expected.
We then continued our trip to Monument Valley. We got to Monument Valley with a few hours to spare before sunset. It was gorgeous. The view from The View Hotel was spectacular. You just had to step out onto your balcony to see one of the best sights in Monument Valley. Right out of a John Wayne movie. The photos after dark and at sunrise were from our balcony – incredible! I just wish it wasn’t so cloudy on our return home, as we didn’t get to capture the reds of the sandstone in our photos. Great for hiking in, lousy for photography.
I took the opportunity to wear the skirt from my patio dress ensemble the next day, but I felt weird if I were to wear the whole dress. Since patio dresses (some people call them squaw dresses) resemble Native American dress, it seemed a little disrespectful in some way to wear it on a Navajo reservation.
Then we high-tailed it up to Arches National Park. If you can’t tell, I’m a nature and National Park kind of nerd, among my nerdy habits. It was gorgeous. We saw arches everywhere – I’ll only show you a few but they include…
And Landscape Arch. Get there while you can, folks. This one won’t last long. It’s thinnest part is only 6′ thick.
And last, but not least, on the day we were to drive over 700 miles (on Father’s Day no less) to make it home, we took a side trip to see Canyonlands National Park. Here’s proof.
And that was it, the whole whirlwind of a vacation. Hope you enjoyed.
Next Cocktail Hour – the Tom Collins.